WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.
DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.
This is book one from Veronica Rossi’s trilogy. (Tri-logy meaning tres books *winks*)
I am extremely glad that I got on the Perry and Aria bandwagon late, why?
Well, because I am hooked and book three already is set to release at the end of this month so I can read the whole series like the impatience fangirl I am! (said all that in one breath)
I had this book on my TBR pile for a few months now. I had received it with three other books I ordered by mail. It was one happy day. I had a book photoshoot day. Interesting enough, one of my most popular reblogs on Tumblr have been the shot of this very book.
So what did I think about this:
The world is a Dystopian survival story set far in the future with hints of Sci-Fi, I guess you could say. Veronica Rossi gives us two worlds. The world where the Dwellers abide in man-made Pods. The “government” I guess you could say, created these high technology Pod dwellings underground to protect people from the Aether storms. These Aether storms are high electrically charged storms that have destroyed and incinerated towns, cities. Within these Pod dwellings, science has dominated their way of living. Everything that is done, is done with a purpose. Children are carefully manufactured scientifically–no one’s an accident, no trait, look is an accident. Everyone is beautiful. Everyone has perfect teeth. No woman goes through menstruation, (theres a reason I mention this–yes, it may or may not have been brought up in the book through a certain scene. Cue: Mortification) hence the reproductive process is all scientific. They believe anything else would be animalistic, savage-like. How do they live and entertain themselves underground in these dwellings? Well, through Realms of course! Everyone in these Pods (i.e. Reverie, Bliss, etc) wear Smarteyes. They are clear almost silicone patches that go over your Left eye. Instantly, the device attaches like a leech/parasite connecting with your brain. This then gives you the opportunity to visit Realms. You can go, be, do, anything you desire just by the thought of it.
Aria is one of our main characters. The story is presented through a Dual-Perspective. Our second main character is Peregrine a.k.a. Perry.
Aria is a Dweller, or a Mole as the Outsiders snicker. She grew up in Reverie with her Mother, Lumina, who is one of the high level scientist/geneticist. She opens the story and all we know is that she is in search of information about her Mother. She had been worried. It has been five days from the start of the book and her mother has not checked in. Even with her mother being far in Bliss, busy with her medical research, they had daily scheduled visits in the Realm where Lumina and Aria would meet in a magnificent Opera theatre, and at Lumina’s request, Aria would sing an Opera piece, using her genetically beautiful Soprano range, set in place before birth by her mother. Soren, the son of Reverie’s Director of Security–Consul Hess–would be her target to get answers out of. Lies and a framing cause Aria to be thrown out and left alone at “the Death Shop” out in the Outsiders world to die. Dwellers bodies don’t last in the Outside.
Perry is what the Dwellers call the Outsiders, or Savages. All we know is that many vicious and horrifying stories have been told to all Dwellers about those who live on the Outside of the Pods, with the Aether storms–such as cannibals. The Outsider’s world resembles much of Native American living. They don’t seem to posses any advanced technologies. Perry comes from a tribe called The Tides. There, his brother, Vale is Blood Lord–the leader of the tribe. The only way another can rise is through a fight to the death. Either you die at the hand of the new Blood Lord who challenged you for the position or you surrender with a knife at your throat and pledge your life to them. Talon is Vale’s son–Perry’s nephew–whom he has a deep connection with. They are all recently mourning the death of Val’s wife, Talon’s mother, Mila. Tension between Vale and Perry carry out, leaving Talon in the middle, as Perry’s desire stirs and believes he needs to be Blood Lord. That means either his brother’s unlikely submission or death. Talon has already lost one parent, could he really be the cause of leaving him without the other?
Tragedy, Secrets, and Lies begin and thrust these two polar opposites together unexpectedly. Aria needs answers, and needs to find her mother. Perry’s nephew is kidnapped by Dwellers–Aria’s people–and he will stop at nothing to get Talon back.
The world-building is beautiful and well done. The entire time I am reading, I can see the brilliant blues that cast light and shadows across the sky and land on the Outside. At one point, Aria describes looking up and the sky appearing as Van Gogh’s Starry Night.
There are Scires and Audiles, Seers and then there’s Cinder–just a boy with a gift no one has ever seen before. On the outside they have those who they called “Marked”. Those Marked have gifts of scenting emotions which are called tempers–the Scires. Audiles have a keen sense of hearing from yards, miles away and if they touch another, they can even read their thoughts. Seer’s …umm, so I don’t remember what they can do exactly, I just know they tend to have the ability best in the day, Perry is a rare one who can see clearly in the night, like a cat.
I loved this book through and through. I pretty much devoured 80% of it in two nights…two long nights. I didn’t sleep when normal people sleep due to staying up till 3am in the morning each night. It was New Years Eve and New Years Day so it was fine.
I loved the main characters. These two characters are quickly becoming one of my favorite YA couples. I would absolutely recommend this book. Go find it, check it out! The entire series will be available by the end of this month so you can eat it up in one sitting! I agree with one reader, I think I would have really enjoyed this story being told through 1st person instead of 3rd person perspective. It took a little time for me to get used to, since lately all I’ve read is 1st person. In the end, you get used to it. Veronica Rossi at least still does a great job at describing well their thoughts and emotions in the moment.
This concludes the non-SPOILER section of this review…Further down, I will now go into certain details that will give away moments, details, plot info from the book.
I love Spoiler sections. This is where I get all fangirl and squeal, and scream, and jump up and down and…ok, ok…let’s get to it.
I love Perry and Aria together and I love Perry. I thoroughly enjoyed how much Aria and Perry HATED each other for pretty much the entire first half of this book. It was well done *golf claps*
“Well done, Veronica Rossi”.
I understand the tension. Here is Aria, being kicked out of Reverie, left to DIE all due to stupid Consul Hess (Soren’s–the arrogant jackweed’s father) wanting to cover up his son’s moment of CRAZY where he went ape-crazy (literally) and burned down Ag6, killing Aria’s best friend, Paisley and most of the others he force-locked within the abandoned Ag6 that night. To cover up his sons MAJOR indiscretion, he got rid of the evidence–ARIA; who unfortunately mentioned recording on her Smarteye proof of Soren’s moment of crazy. We know that she lost the Smarteye Soren RIPPED off her face, and that Perry found it and kept it. Here she is, dropped off in the Death Shop they all have heard so much horror about, left at the mercy of the Aether storms, in a medisuit–possibly her only means of surviving as long as she has out there–so she believes.
On the other side of things, we have Perry. He and Vale fought, hence Perry skulked off in a tantrum to the Dweller pod in the first place. He found an apple for Talon (Talon’s favorite and rare to find) and got himself tangled in this mess with Aria.
They, Aria’s people, kidnap Talon and tried to kill Perry. They didn’t succeed. Perry and his crazy scent gift finds Aria in the middle of nowhere, where an Aether storm is about to attack her. He football tackles her, yelling that he lost everything because of her, a Mole. She is just as feisty, yelling for him to not touch her. He’s a Savage and she is disgusted by him and his ability to probably infect her just by breathing near her.
The only reason Perry even bothers not leaving her out there to die, is because he needs her to get Talon back. She tries to escape him but isn’t successful, especially when this barbaric Savage threatens you with a large knife.
Throughout the story, enters Roar who is hilarious and awesome. He’s full of himself but in that good humored way that breaks tensions when they’re high. He’s apparently very good looking and an Audile. He loves Liv, Perry’s sister but she was given to another Blood Lord for a wife as a trade for food provisions for the Tides. I am excited to see his story unfold. I love the little elements he provides in the story–bridge between Perry and Aria at times.
Here’s some cool fanart I found: Margot from EpicReads does this Fauxtography series inspired by YA books. The berries images inspired by the scene in the book with Perry teaching Aria how she can tell safe berries from poisonous ones; those are her photos someone used to make this collage below 🙂
Margot’s The Real Fauxtographer “Under the Never Sky” shot here
I loved this fan art of Perry and the storms. I think he looks perfect. Even his almost dreaded hair, the tattoos, weapons–brilliant!
Scenes I TABBED in my book as memorable: (chronological order)
Tab #1 – The moment Aria brought into the story the title of the book. (page 124)
“Do the clouds ever clear?” she asked.
“Completely? No. Never.”
“What about the Aether? Does that ever go away?”
“Never, Mole. The Aether never leaves.”
She looked up. “A world of nevers under a never sky.”
Tab #2 – The infamous berries scene (page 167-169)
So they are NOT getting along here. She just witnessed him kill, no wait, slaughter and decapitate cannibals in the wild who manipulated Aria with kindness. After days of not getting Perry to talk and being afraid of him, here comes this one guy, charismatic, young and kindly conversing with her. Aria had gone to find berries to prove she could be useful while Perry left her in the cave to hunt. Watching him slaughter these men turned her stomach and an anger of disgust rose within towards Perry’s ability to do such a thing. Later, he offers to find food to feed her but she snapped at him saying she wanted nothing from him.
So he cleverly goes over and brings a branch of berries. He tells her that he’ll teach her to hunt for her own food then. She responds to this and he’s relieved. So he tells her that first, she needs to crush a small piece and smell it.
Here, her scent is now of violets and not of decay and death as it was in the beginning when they met…
PAUSE. TIME OUT…
Can we talk about WHY her scent is NOW violets. I didn’t TAB this part but oh, it is most definitely memorable.
“Holy Red Faced Mortification Batman!”
The end of chapter 16 (Perry’s POV chapter-page 153-154)…Oh, dear, I’m laughing replaying the entire scene in my head. Aria wakes up and he instantly breathes in her temper and panics, asking her what’s wrong.
She tells him that she is dying. She’s bleeding.
Poor Perry freaks out trying to assess the situation. Where is she bleeding? Her feet? Or did she eat the poisonous berries (this is remember, before the berries scene)?
Perry inhales and suddenly, her musky Dweller scent is almost gone.
For the first time since he’d known her, her flesh smelled like something he recognized, feminine and sweet.
He smelled violets.
He took a step back, swearing silently as it hit him. “You’re not dying…you really don’t know?”
“I don’t know anything anymore.”
Perry looked down at the ground and drew another breath, no doubt in his mind.
“Aria…it’s your first blood.”
“What The…Omylanta…WHAT?” was everything I was repeating in my head over and over. I was MORTIFIED for her. It continues now with the next chapter, 17-ARIA’s POV.
She was bleeding. Like an animal. Dwellers didn’t menstruate.
She’d been prepared for death. Death was to be expected on the outside. A normal consequence of being tossed into the Death Shop. But no matter how she looked at it, menstruating was utterly barbaric.
And this gorgeous, wild looking guy had to tell her! Oh dear God, where is the mercy!? *laughing, cringing, laughing more*
Anyway, back to the berries. Now thanks to her new found bloody circumstance, the up side? She smelled like violets now.
Next, Perry had her look at the color of the berries. Then, rub it on her skin, after that, put it on her lip. Perry’s heartbeat picks up watching her do these things. She’s oblivious, feeling determined and strong to learn something for her own independence. He starred at her lower lip even after she had placed the berry there. He couldn’t look away. Now, he told her to place it on her tongue.
Perry shot to his feet before he finished the words, nearly tripping over himself. He ran a hand over his head, feeling skitty, like he needed to laugh or run or do something. He picked up a stone and tossed it into the creek, trying to get the image of her tasting the berry out of his mind. Trying to keep from pumping her scent into his nose like wanted to.
They have then a light moment, and laugh. It’s a wonderful scene. Of course, one of my favorites. Be sure to check out the entire fauxto from Margot’s YA book Fauxto series (link above the fanart collage).
Tab #3 – (page 238-243) Aria is at Marron’s and finds out the Auds overheard that Bliss was destroyed by an Aether–where her mother is. Roar’s brilliant and snarky matchmaking plot leading Perry to go to Aria’s room to comfort her himself. Perry was hoping Roar would go since Aria and Roar get along so well and well, due to his own silent nature, they haven’t clicked yet through conversation the same. He’s been also trying to avoid her because they have no chance together, so why torture himself and go there?
I laughed out loud when Roar gave his analogy of his own moment with Liv.
“Remember that time I was trying to talk to Liv and I fell off the roof?
Later, Perry not understanding where this was going…
“Was there a point to that story?” Perry stepped out as soon as the elevator doors parted. “Are you coming?”
“Fall off your own roof, Perry,” he said as the door slid closed.
Best. Line. Ever.
So Perry goes, hesitates but enters the room to find Aria sitting on her bed, hurting. He scans the room and knows the only other place to sit is in the space beside Aria…on the bed. The eternity for him to take those four steps to her bed. He sits and notices nervously every detail that only when you’re mind is reeling, and emotions are heightened, do you notice.
They converse and have some breakthrough. My favorite is after he apologizes for not being kinder during the first part of their journey, she says she’ll forgive him on two conditions.
First–she cons him into explaining his own temper right now (in that moment). It’s very vulnerable for him and though he tries, he freaks out, clams up from being so exposed and says he just can’t do it.
“Now you have an idea how it feels. How exposed I feel around you.”
Perry laughed. “That was tricky of you…”
Then, her second condition,
“Will you stay? I think I’d sleep better if you stayed here tonight. Then we could miss them together.”
Tab #4 – Perry finally asks to hear Aria sing (After already hearing her accidentally on one of the first nights in a cave, when she woke from her first Dream/nightmare and was singing to herself). Page 250-252
Here everything changes on the outside for Perry and Aria. Things held within, not spoken, begin to be expressed. Its so second nature for her to sing. She knows she can and never hesitates to do it. Possibly from years of her mother having her perform during their visits. Also must be after her last encounter with her mother–in person–denying her mother a moment to hear Aria sing for real, not in a Realm, which was weird and uncommon for Aria. She had a sullen teenager moment and was a complete brat, singing a ridiculous song instead. It was the last time she was able to sing for her mother. Perhaps, that kept her from wanting to ever hold back when asked to sing. Plus, she was confident because it was genetically something she knew was given to her.
She sings for Perry and he is mesmerized.
Perry closed his eyes when she was finished. “You have a voice as sweet as your scent,” he said, his words deep and quiet. “Sweet as violets.”
Her heart stopped in her chest. He thought she had a scent like violets? “Perry…do you want to know the words?”
His eyes flew open. “Yes.”
Her eyes never shifted away from his as she translated and it’s as though a force pulled their hands together. Something now changed between them. It was beautiful. My feels were so jumping in my heart!
Tab #5 The Van Gogh’s Starry Night reference that painted more clearly what I was already seeing in my head while reading this. Page 294
Tab #6 THEIR FIRST KISS *squeals* *flails arms around* *grabs Russ-teddy-and squeezes him with joy painted on my face*
pages 295-298 <~~~cause Roar comes and jokingly interrupts!
Roar had been teaching Aria to fight with a knife. That was Roar’s specialty weapon, not Perry’s. His was the bow and arrow. One day, Aria is practicing by herself and later catches Perry standing there, watching her for who knows how long. He offers to be her sparring partner today cause Roar is still sleeping. Freaking out she pretends it’s “Cool”.
After some genuine back and forth and then sprinkle on some flirting, Perry gave in like a man in heat *rolls head back laughing* He tosses his blade aside.
“I can’t concentrate. I thought I could do this.” He put his hands up in defeat. “Can’t.” Then he came closer. Aria didn’t think her heart could beat any faster, but then it did, faster with every step he took toward her, until it hammered against her chest, making her breathless when he stopped right in front of her.
“I’ve been watching you and Roar. Wanting it to be me training with you.” His shoulders came up. “I don’t want to do it now.”
“Why?” Aria’s voice was high and thin.
He smiled, a flash of shyness, before he leaned close. “There are other things I’d rather do when I’m alone with you.”
Time to step off the edge. “Then do them.”
Tab #7 Umm…errr…yeah…so treehouse, Aria, Perry, Divergent shirt off-Tattoo touching-makeout-scene moment (funny, they both have one…and…I dont hate it! ) and then…*clears throat* Aria and Perry bond and are joined intimately. I love the last paragraph, page 325. Nicely done VRossi! *winks*
And last but not least…
Tab #8 The Spontaneous Kiss:(page 327) The only thing I dared mark this book with. I lightly, highlighted it cause it was just too darn sweet and precious. I loved this.
In the afternoon, they stopped to eat on a rocky outcrop. Perry brushed a kiss on her cheek while she was chewing, and she learned that it was the loveliest thing to be kissed for no reason, even while chewing food. It brightened the woods, and the never sky, and everything. Aria embraced the tactic, calling it the Spontaneous Kiss…
Well, there it is folks. If those tabs didn’t stir your curiosity to read this book, then I don’t know what will. I mean, for those who haven’t and still decided to read through all the spoilery parts. I enjoyed this book. It was just a wonderful, beautiful, endearing story filled with brilliant imagination and dimensional characters that you can’t help but love!
I hope if you havent, you will check out this series. I am staring my mailbox down wanting the second book of the series immediately. I am glaring more at my inbox which has yet to tell me that the Amazon seller has shipped my book. *mouth curves downward* Not happy…not at all. Well, that’s what I get for being impatient and ordering something online on New Years Eve…
Really Des? Really?
Happy Reading Everyone! Till next time!